CNN – 2000 YEARS AGO

13 09 2011

Paul’s epistles (letters) were the first writings to the new church which was being established in the different regions. His letters were to be circulated throughout these churches, to be read and studied by all the believers. These epistles or letters have been established by most theologians as the foundational writings on which the New Testament doctrines were derived.

Paul knew that what God had given him, was so revolutionary, that it must be given to the whole church.

I want you to use your imagination now. You are alive a few years after Jesus was resurrected. You are a gentile, for example a Greek. You were born and live in Thessalonica, a Roman town. You do not know anything about the Jewish faith. You don’t know about Abraham and Moses etc. You used to worship the Greek gods. Then one day, you heard someone preaching a message that changed your life forever. You believed in the One whom He preached, Jesus Christ. You are hungry for more. You want to know more.

There are no “bibles” available because they have not been written yet. There is the Jewish Torah, the Old Testament but that doesn’t mean anything to you, because you were Greek. You don’t even know that the Torah exists. The only place you could get hold of the Torah was in a Synagogue in the form of a scroll and you were not allowed into a synagogue because you are not Jewish and uncircumcised.

You fellowship with other people who believe in Jesus Christ at the town square and gather there to pray together and to talk about your new faith. There are no “scriptures” for you to read.

This is why Paul wrote letters or epistles. He wrote them so that believers could have an understanding of the mystery, “Christ in you – the hope of glory”. Paul wrote these different letters to the local churches.

For example, he wrote to the church in Thessalonica, and it is called the letter to the Thessalonians:

1 Thessalonians 5:27 MKJV (27) I charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the holy brothers.

He wrote to the Church in Coloss:

Colossians 4:16 MKJV And when this letter is read before you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you also read the letter of Laodicea.

All Paul’s letters were written to the newly formed churches. These letters were read to the believers.

The only doctrine these early churches had was from Paul in the form of his letters to them. Some of the believers in those churches hadn’t even seen Paul before. All they had were his letters.

Ephesians 3:3-4 MKJV that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I wrote before in few words, (4) by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

2 Thessalonians 3:14 MKJV (14) And if anyone does not obey our word by this letter, mark that one and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.


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